Avera donates to upgrade radiology technology laboratories at Mitchell Technical College, upgrade equipment

Avera donates to upgrade radiology technology laboratories at Mitchell Technical College, upgrade equipment

Mitchell – Graduates of all health services programs at Mitchell Technical College are sorely needed, and the school’s latest gift from Avera Health is expected to keep one of the school’s most recognized programs at the forefront of learning and technology for years to come.

“Radiology technologists are helping our patients in important ways,” said Doug Eckern, regional president and CEO of Avira Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avira Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton. “This includes partnering with doctors and providers to get the truth about the cause of pain or other symptoms through X-rays, CT scans, or other forms of imaging, or using imaging technology to screen and diagnose serious conditions, such as breast or lung cancer, in their early stages.”

These budding technologists will have the opportunity to work with the latest cutting edge technology as well as an improved lab space thanks to a donation from Avera, which was announced Wednesday morning at a press conference at the school’s Campus Center with officials from Avera Health and Mitchell Technical College, as well as students and faculty. On hand for advertising.

The gift will provide the necessary funding and correspond to the Mitchell Technical College budget for the expansion project. It will provide a stationary X-ray system from General Electric Definium Tempo in a state-of-the-art facility within a renovated space within the campus center building, which houses the existing radiology technology program.

Being able to expose students to the latest forms of equipment along with equipment used in school for years will give them an understanding of a broad range, said Lisa Herman, director of the radiological technology program at Mitchell Technical College. equipment.

Mark Wilson, president of Mitchell Technical College, said the school’s latest gift from Avera Health will help keep the school’s radiology technology program on top for decades to come.

Eric Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

“Our current lab is approximately 18 years old, we use this lab daily, and will continue to do so as we go forward. The value in owning a newer 20-year piece of equipment is that there is broad industry scope in our clinical settings in terms of the equipment students will be working on,” Hermann said. “So while they’re here on campus, we’ll be able to provide that experience with them, working with more basic or older equipment as well as newer equipment that GE makes.”

Such outdated equipment is often found in smaller rural hospitals, and learning about its operation can shorten the learning curve for students, while learning the ins and outs of the latest equipment prepares them for work in the largest and most modern facilities.

“We are fortunate that we get a lot of modern equipment, but we also have some older equipment,” said Shaun Portnem, a 2011 graduate of Mitchell Tech who is currently the Director of Radiology at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, and with a large organization like us, we We kind of have a wide range of equipment. The advisory board at Mitchell Tech.” The lab they have here is still very similar to the labs used in rural facilities across the state. I can attest to that because that’s what I worked on for the first eight years after graduation. It really helps students prepare and gets them to the point where they can intervene faster.”

The program’s four instructors will be able to work simultaneously with three groups of students in the updated department, which will now include two traditional lab spaces with an improved mobile laboratory serving as an emergency department.

The faculty will be able to supervise multiple simulations simultaneously, Hermann said, which will allow students to adjust to the fast-paced nature of the field.

“It will be one unified area, which will allow three times as many students to practice simultaneously in order to better accommodate the lab hours that each student must have before graduation,” Hermann said.


Doug Eckern, right, regional president and CEO of Avira Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avira Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, spoke Wednesday morning on the Mitchell Technical College campus about a recent gift from the health care system to the school to help improve and upgrade the radiology technology program. Also speaking at the event were Lisa Hermann, director of the Department of Radiology Technology at Mitchell Tech, Barb Wright, clinical coordinator of the Mitchell Tech Program, and Mark Wilson, president of Mitchell Tech.

Eric Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

Peyton Fisher, a first-year student in the radiology program at Mitchell Tech, said she was really impressed with the software, but the improvements should only make the experience better, especially for first-year students next year when the labs are improved and the new equipment will be ready to use.

“We’re going out in clinics in May. We’re on campus for 10 months and in May we go to clinics and then come back to recheck and compete again here, so we’re going to use it a little bit, but it’s going to be very nice to those first—Fischer, a Warner native, told Mitchell Republic, To have the year students come in and use new equipment.” “It’s cool, I’m excited for them.”

Barb Wright, the program’s clinical coordinator, agreed.

“It will be very modern. Medical equipment is always changing in our industry. Thanks to this gift, our students will be ready to work with the latest equipment by the time they enter their clinics, which means that the health system will have to spend less time preparing them to give patients the best possible care,” Wright said. .

Neither the school nor Avera Health offered dollar value on the gift, but Mark Wilson, president of Mitchell Technical College, said it was likely that the school would not move forward with plans at this time without health system support, although it is likely that they have explored Other options to make the upgrade a reality.

The new equipment has been ordered and contractors are expected to start work soon, tentatively scheduled for completion in July 2023.

“This has been in the works for a little over three years. We’re just grateful that this was able to come together the way it was,” Wilson said.

The Radiology Technology program is a popular one at the school, having been the first program to be filled for Fall 2022. It has also already filled vacancies for Fall 2023, and there is a waiting list for entry. The program recently expanded from 15 students to 24 students, and a fourth instructor was added this year in anticipation of expanding the program.

With the completion of the expansion project scheduled for midsummer 2023, these future radiological technologists should be able to take advantage of the latest and greatest laboratory space and equipment that Mitchell Technical College has to offer.

All of this is possible thanks to the ongoing partnership between Avera Health and Mitchell Tech, said Carol Grodd Hanks, the school’s vice president of academics.


Doug Eckern, regional president and CEO of Avira Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell and Avira Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton, spoke Wednesday morning at the Mitchell Tech campus about the benefits of a recent gift from Avira to Mitchell Technical College to help renovate and improve it. Radiology Technology Program.

Eric Kaufman / Mitchell Republic

“Avera has been a clinical partner and a strong supporter of our program since the beginning,” Grode-Hanks said. “They employ a lot of our graduates, and have been a steadfast partner as we have seen our program grow and change. It is a pleasure working with them as we leap to this next stage.”

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